Briggs set to makeover Summit County
The answer for Jared Briggs came during a sleepless night in Hollywood.
He moved to California to be closer to his girlfriend but things didn’t work out and he was left brooding over his future.
"It was a really low point in my life," Briggs said.
Prior to living among Hollywood’s glitz and glamour, Briggs tried numerous career options from attempting to become a professional snowboarder to studying physics and working as a bartender. He never settled on a career and his frustrations mounted.
During his short time in California, he met an actor on the TV show "Melrose Place" who worked as a hairdresser and became a source of inspiration for him.
"I woke up one night and I wanted to own my own store and salon," Briggs said.
"I wanted to work for myself. I didn’t want to work in an office and it seemed like hairstylists were pretty cool."
The sleepless night gave him a new enthusiasm for his future and Briggs set a goal to own his first store in five years. Two months ago, he opened Lunatic Fringe Salon in Park City.
"I was 25 and I wanted to open one when I was 30, and I did it," Briggs said.
It was ironic that Briggs became a cosmetologist for a couple reasons.
"I was actually going to cosmology school in physics," Briggs said. "It was ironic that I ended up being a cosmetologist."
He admits he didn’t respect the hair profession before becoming a hairstylist.
"I had a bias and I viewed hairstylists as being shallow and only paying attention to making people pretty on the outside," Briggs said.
Briggs said one goal of Lunatic Fringe is to correct those stereotypes. Lunatic Fringe has ongoing education programs for its employees that provide technical training along with business training, planning and life coaching.
"Most the stereotypes are that hairdressers are uneducated, flighty, fickle personalities that couldn’t pass their college algebra class," Briggs said.
According to Briggs, hairdressing is an art that involves intellectual skill.
"A lot of chemistry and geometry," Briggs said. "You work with color like paint and ammonia and hydrogen peroxide and you have to understand how chemicals react and how colors work with skin tone and face shape and how haircuts affect face shape. It’s almost a mixture of art and chemistry and geometry."
Ongoing education is what keeps Lunatic Fringe hairdressers on top of the latest fashions and techniques, according to Briggs.
"We have one of the strongest ongoing education programs in the country, Briggs said. "Once you graduate from school, that’s where your education begins. If you don’t seek out you can’t grow. Fashion changes many times and you need to keep up on top of it."
The hairdressers at Lunatic Fringe also educate their customers about products and ways to maintain and take care of their hair.
"We do a lot of in-chair education," Briggs said. "It doesn’t really matter if we do a great job styling; it matters that you can do a great job styling."
With the salon’s name, Briggs said some people get "a little freaked out."
"But we’re not going to give you a Mohawk when you come in here," Briggs said. To meet individual needs, he said, "We do a lot of consulting and communication about hair texture, density and lifestyle."
After being in the industry, he said his craft not only makes people prettier, but also makes them "feel better on the inside."
"When someone comes in with hair they don’t like and you transform them and see them walk out with a bounce in their step, that’s what makes my day and you do it every day. That’s what makes a career," Briggs said.
Shawn Trujillo and his wife Angie Katsanevas started the company in Salt Lake, where three Lunatic Fringes are located.
"We really wanted to do something in Park City, we’ve been looking for locations and stuck our toes in it for the last 24 months," Trujillo said. "We have a large clientele from Park City that drives to Salt Lake. We heard it constantly that we should have one up there."
Trujillo and Katsanevas started the salon to create an environment where employees were treated like family and the customers felt comfortable, Briggs said.
"I’ve been in other salons out-of-state and they make you feel like you should be lucky to be in their salon," Briggs said. "That’s not what we want to do."
Lunatic puts an emphasis on the employees through what Trujillo labeled "Team-Based Structure."
"The main thing that makes us who we are is our culture on top of great technical service," Trujillo said.
Lunatic Fringe also is dedicated to hiring fresh talent that has the "Lunatic Fringe" personality.
"We work hard on our culture, we hire nice people," Trujillo said. "We don’t really care about their skill factor because we have an education program that trains people to the standard we require."
Briggs said cosmetology schools teach at a higher level now and students come out with a lot of talent. New hairdressers also come out with energy. Trujillo said he can mold that energy into a Lunatic Fringe disciple.
"We love to hire talent out of school," Trujillo said. "There’s the desire and sense of urgency to get in and get their nose to the grindstone. We are not interested in taking on veteran stylists that bring in old habits that might disrupt our culture."
Briggs was one of the new talented students, that’s why he was able to open the salon in Park City.
"He’s an amazing guy," Trujillo said. "He’s technically sound, passionate and a master at the craft. He’s one of those guys that is always interested in coming to work with the Lunatic Fringe family."
Briggs is the second student who has opened a Lunatic Fringe salon.
"We got him right out of school and he’s always supported and believed in our vision," Trujillo said. "One thing that’s great for us, we are able to fulfill an individual’s career path from start to end."
After 25 years of a wavering future, Briggs has settled into his career with Lunatic Fringe.
"I think I’m speaking for every hairdresser," Briggs said. "It’s an amazing career, it’s not a job."
For more information on Lunatic Fringe, call 658-0298.
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Monday’s scheduled launch of microtransit service in much of western Summit County will be the first time the county’s new High Valley Transit District offers rides to members of the public.